Researchers tout limited licensing of container truckers at ports

| Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Transportation researchers for the U.S. Department of Transportation's Volpe Center are touting a licensing proposal that would limit the "oversupply of drivers and allow those in the field to make a profit and raise industry standards," according to a U.S. DOT spokesman.

"These independent drivers have typically been unable to seek rate increases or surcharges to cover rising costs such as fuel," said Douglass B. Lee Jr., a government transportation planner for the DOT, in a press release.

"By some estimates the cut-throat competition has led ocean carriers, who enjoy antitrust immunity, to collectively set rates that are at least 30 percent below what the actual market would bear in an industry where anybody with an old truck can enter the market."

The report comes on the heels of news that the U.S. is requiring port workers to obtain Transportation Worker Identification Credential cards that require background checks and other data.

According to Today's Trucking, other options include allowing independent truckers to unionize and organizing a minimum hourly pay rate for drivers, according to Peter Swan, assistant professor of logistics and operations management at Penn State University-Harrisburg.

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